June 13 Black Lives Matter protests

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan, Peter Wilkinson, Emma Reynolds, Melissa Macaya and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT) June 14, 2020
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10:17 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

An Atlanta highway is shut down after protesters march onto it

From CNN's Melissa Alonso


Protesters have marched onto the Interstate 85 and Interstate 75 connector in Atlanta and dozens of police vehicles have lined the highway.

The interstate has been shut down.

Not far away, a fire has been started outside the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was shot dead by police on Friday night.

The situation is ongoing. 


9:57 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

Black Lives Matter mural painted on street in Vermont's capital

Volunteers painted "Black Lives Matter" in front of the Vermont statehouse Saturday.
Volunteers painted "Black Lives Matter" in front of the Vermont statehouse Saturday. WPTZ, Jay Ericson

Volunteers in Vermont's capital city painted a Black Lives Matter mural on State street in front of the statehouse.

"Legislators, senators, that come into the statehouse, it’s a reminder that we need to make Vermont a more equitable place for everyone," said Noel Riby-Williams, the organizer.

Vermont's capital -- Montpelier -- joins a number of cities which have similar murals, including Washington, D.C, where Mayor Muriel Bowser commissioned a mural on the street leading to the White House.

"We take it seriously being a small town state capital, but we hope to cast a pretty large shadow over the rest of the country," said Montpelier Councilman Conor Casey.

Dozens of people volunteered to help, and each took turns to paint.

"People should all be treated equal, but our county doesn’t do that. They should start," said Donald Parmelee, who volunteered.

Montpelier city council unanimously approved the mural earlier in the week. It was funded by local activists and community members who gave all of the materials to make it happen.

9:40 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

Protesters have torn down a statue in New Orleans and rolled it into the Mississippi River

In New Orleans, protesters tore down a statue of John McDonogh -- a merchant and slave owner who died in 1850.

After damaging the statue, protesters loaded it onto a trucks and took it to the banks of the Mississippi River where it was thrown into the water, according to the New Orleans Police Department.

McDonogh gifted $2 million in his will to the cities of Baltimore and New Orleans to build public schools. Over 30 schools were built in New Orleans with his name and a number after it, according to the New Orleans historical society.

Many of the schools in New Orleans bearing his name were changed in the 80s and 90s due to the controversies over McDonogh’s slave owning history, according to the Historical Society.

Only one school with his name remains open in New Orleans, McDonogh 35, while neighboring Jefferson Parish still has an elementary school named after him, McDonogh 26.

Here's what the scene looked like at Duncan Plaza on Saturday:

A protest Saturday in New Orleans
A protest Saturday in New Orleans Dan Schap

10:04 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

Atlanta police use tear gas on protesters

From CNN’s Natasha Chen and Maria Cartaya

Atlanta Police have used tear gas on a crowd protesting outside the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was shot dead by police Friday.

A flash bang was heard in the area on Saturday evening, as police worked to clear the crowd.

Not long after, a group of the protesters moved onto the Interstate 85 highway and it is now shut down.

The situation is ongoing.

9:51 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

Attorney for the family of Rayshard Brooks: "They're going to say (a taser is) a deadly weapon. And it's not"


The attorney for the family of a black man who was shot dead by a police officer has called out a failing in police training.

Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot in the parking lot of a Wendy's in southeast Atlanta Friday night, after he scuffled with officers and allegedly ran away with one of their stun guns, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Less than 24 hours later, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down from her job.

"'They're going to say it's (a taser) a deadly weapon. And it's not," Justin Miller, an attorney representing Brooks' family, said a press conference Saturday.

"If a taser isn't a deadly weapon, then it's not a deadly weapon when I have it, it's not a deadly weapon when an officer has it, it's not a deadly weapon when anyone else has it," Miller said. "When our client has the taser, they're going to say it was a deadly weapon -- and it's not."

L. Chris Stewart, who is also representing the family, called out the discrepancy between the responses to the coronavirus and racism, highlighting the huge global effort to find a vaccine for Covid-19, while "nobody" tries to "find a vaccine" for civil rights abuses.

"It's something that we're told to wait for -- it'll come. Nobody's trying to find a vaccine for why officers pull the trigger so quick on African Americans. There's no flood of money or scientists or top experts or our leadership in this country trying to end this epidemic," he said.

"I guess that's because it doesn't hit close to home for the people that care."


8:40 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

Atlanta protester: "We're still not heard"

From CNN’s Natasha Chen 

Marquavian Odom, a protester in Atlanta, spoke with CNN’s Natasha Chen Saturday about police fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks.

"I was very disturbed with what happened," Odom said. "This is something that keeps happening over and over again. We’ve been protesting about George Floyd and I thought there was going to be a change, but there wasn’t a change, it was still the same old thing. I thought the message was clear, but obviously we’re still not heard." 

Odom said Brooks' case is different from George Floyd's because Brooks was fighting back. In surveillance video of the shooting, Brooks appeared to point the stun gun at the Atlanta officer.

"He was scared for his life. The first thing to do when people are fighting you, you will try to fight back, even though it is authority. He did try to run away from the situation, they were still tasing him, they were still trying to cause him harm and tried to kill him so the first natural thing would be to run.” 

Odom said officers are trained in de-escalation, so they should've known "plenty of ways" to de-escalate the situation with Brooks.

Taking a gun out should’ve been the last excuse unless he had a gun," Odom said. "He didn’t have a gun, he only had a taser."

Odom called the resignation of Atlanta's police chief a "beautiful thing."

7:56 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

White NFL players defend kneeling during the National Anthem

From CNN's Kevin Dotson and Jacob Lev

Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield defended kneeling during the National Anthem Saturday. Watt and Mayfield are both white.

Watt quote-tweeted a now-deleted tweet from someone who said "Pretty sure you won't see @JJWatt taking a knee ..."

Watt responded:

Mayfield responded to an Instagram user who said "Please tell Browns fans you're not going to be kneeling this season" by saying "I absolutely am."

After receiving backlash on social media, Mayfield posted a lengthier statement on his Instagram story

8:05 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

Protesters take down statue in New Orleans and roll it into the Mississippi River

From CNN’s Kay Jones

During a protest at Duncan Plaza on Saturday, protesters in New Orleans took down a statue of John McDonogh, a merchant and slave owner, and rolled it into the Mississippi River.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell released a statement through her social media channels saying, “The City of New Orleans rejects vandalism and destruction of City property. It is unlawful.”


After protesters damaged the statue, they drug it into the street and loaded it onto one of two trucks, according to a statement released by the New Orleans Police Department. The trucks took the statue to the banks of the Mississippi River and the statue was then thrown into the river, according to police.

NOPD said police have apprehended the drivers of the trucks.

7:44 p.m. ET, June 13, 2020

Two videos show struggle before Rayshard Brooks was shot by Atlanta police officer

From CNN's Paul Murphy

Here are two videos showing the struggle between Rayshard Brooks and police before he was fatally shot.

One video is surveillance video provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The other is eyewitness video shot from a cell phone.